I have never operated 80m from my home. I have never had the space for a full half-wave dipole, and haven’t really had the motivation to put up anything else. Well, I’ve stumbled across something that may work—the W3EDP antenna.
The W3EDP is an 85-ft. end-fed wire with a 17-ft. counterpoise. Of course, you need an antenna tuner to make this work, but I already have a tuner or two here. And, if you’re going to operate QRP, a small tuner is even pretty easy to build.
Here are some links:
- The W3EDP HF Antenna (G3YCC)
- QRP-L Archives and Articles. Page down and you’ll find a list of links to messages that have appeared on QRP-L that discuss the W3EDP antenna.
While Googling for information on the W3EDP, I also found a great article on building a current-type 4:1 balun on the N0SS website. The article was written by W1CG.
UPDATE 11/19/06: This afternoon, I strung an 85-ft. wire up into the trees, connected it to the T-1 longwire antenna tuner, and then put the antenna tuner on it. Several messages in the links above didn’t seem to think that the counterpoise was necessary for 80m, so I left it off.
The first readings were a bit perplexing. The SWR was jumping all over the place, and no matter what position I set the controls, I couldn’t get the SWR much below 3:1. Thinking that the 17-ft. counterpoise might be needed after all, I connected and fiddled with the tuner controls once again. This time, I was able to achieve an almost 1:1 SWR.
At this point, I decided to pack it all up and head back inside. It was gray and cold, had started to snow, I didn’t have an enclosure in which to stick the tuner, and the piece of coax that I had connected to the tuner wouldn’t reach to the shack anyway.
Overall, though, I was quite pleased with this experiment, and I think that it won’t be long before I’m on 80m.